The second annual Mala Luna music festival brought back big hip hop headliners, young up and coming performers, and a selection of local artists to ScoreMore Show's signature San Antonio fest. The Halloween weekend's marquee sets were delivered by Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa on Saturday, and the Migos and Future on Sunday.
Since starting last year with 23 artists performing on one shared stage at the Lone Star Brewery, the event expanded this year to include a two stage layout for another 23 artists playing across from the Nelson Wolff Stadium parking lot. Rappers, R&B singers, and DJs curated two days of live music which included more than 20 food vendors, speciality booths, retail craft stalls, an arcade, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic bars.
A VIP section situated between the two stages featured furnished lounge areas, hookahs, exclusive bars, and trailer bathrooms. The most premium passes provided elevated side stage views that put onlookers at near eye level with the performers on stage.
ScoreMore Shows is responsible for several music festivals and events that entertain some of Texas' younger music fans. The company organizes the recurring JMBLYA music festival in Austin and Dallas, and also ran the now defunct but once hyper-exclusive South by South West Illmore party.
The company's shows, tours, and festivals regularly pull some of rap's reigning and incoming A-listers. Mala Luna's Saturday lineup was no exception. Tens of thousands of rowdy fans flocked to see the day's early performances by rappers like J.I.D, Ugly God, and Playboi Carti – each of whom released a debut album in 2017.
"We’ve been really well positioned as far as getting on board with artists earlier in their career and developing with them," said Sascha Stone Guttfreund, who runs half of ScoreMore Shows.
Guttfreund, who lives and works in Austin, said Mala Luna was born out of a desire to give the previously un-tapped San Antonio market its own unique music festival. He wants the fest to possess a distinct identity and strives to incorporate local art and culture from around the city, such as using Día de los Muertos influence and imagery.
"In booking Mala Luna, we wanted the artwork and the aesthetic to pay homage to the city of San Antonio," Guttfreund said. "For us it wasn't about bringing JMBLYA to San Antonio, it was about giving San Antonio something that they deserved in their own right."
Part of that involves offering a stage for local musicians. Among the eight selected for this year's fest is Izaq Roland, who sees Mala Luna bringing in younger artists for a city that typically caters to large scale concerts that appeal to older artists and audiences.
"Mala Luna definitely brings youth," Roland said. "We've never really had a festival that did that here in town until now. I think they're going in the right direction."
Recent growth and development in San Antonio opened up the possibility for events like Mala Luna to exist, Guttfreund said. Mala Luna is now one of many music festivals in the city along with the Maverick Music Festival and the upcoming inaugural La Botánica festival.
"A lot of people I know like going to festivals, and they usually have to go out of town to do that" Roland said. "To be able to have one here in town and hopefully more in the future is great. I think its good for the city."
Guttfreund wants to see the festival continue to grow, and has plans to continue operating the Mala Luna festival in the future.
"I think we’re positioned well to continue to come back,” he said.